NCAA Track And Field Championships - Day One Blog
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

June 11, 2008

9:10 UPDATE: No rain yet but the winds are picking up and the clouds look somewhat ominous. Good news for the Tigers, as freshman Hollie Knight pulled a minor upset by reaching the finals of the 5,000m. Knight was seeded 14th coming in, but finished thrid in her semifinal heat. The pace was very slow so her time wasn't impressive, but the important thing was that she advanced. There's one more women's heat to go before the men compete.

8:30 UPDATE: The men's hammer throw is wrapping up, and while we don't have official results yet, both Cory Martin and Jacob Dunkleberger hit the automatic qualifying mark for the finals and will move on. Also moving on is Raevan Harris in the high jump. She cleared 1.77m on her second attempt, and that was enough to whittle the field down to less than 16 competitors, putting her in the finals.

The weather has held off but we hear strong storms are coming soon. Hopefully it will not affect the men's and women's 5,000 meters, which include Hollie Knight and Felix Kiboiywo. We are about half an hour behind schedule so we have to wait a while longer before they compete.

7:15 UPDATE: Reuben McCoy posted the second-fastest time in the first round of the men's 400m hurdles with a time of 49.99, putting him into Thursday's semifinals. The women's results are also now official and Anderson and Gilchrist have advanced to the semifinals.

Right now, Raevan Harris is looking good in the high jump, clearing 1.70m and then 1.74m on her first try, as she attemps to reach the finals. The bar has just been moved up to 1.77m.

 

 

The men's hammer throw is also being contested with Jacob Dunklebeger completing the first flight and Cory Martin waiting to compete in the second flight.

6:30 UPDATE: Again the results are unofficial, but Auburn's two women's 400m hurdlers have advanced to the semifinals of that event. Both Amelia Anderson and Danielle Gilchrist finished second in their heats, and the top two finishers in each heat automatically advance. Gilchrist had a time of 58.08, while Anderson finished in 58.36. The semifinals are Thursday.

The final women's heat is about to start, then there will be five men's heats, with Reuben McCoy in the final heat.

5:45 UPDATE: The men's discus prelims just wrapped up and unfortunately Auburn is now 0-3 on advancing athletes, as Edis Elkasevic and Zach Clayton did not advance (results not yet official). However, it should be noted that only the top 12 advance to the finals, and none of Auburn's first three competitors were seeded in the top 12 coming in. The heavy hitters are still coming up, with the hammer throwers and the hurdlers warming up to compete.

On the bright side, the sun has continued to shine, although it is very windy, which could make it tough for the 5,000-meter runners tonight. Tomorrow's forecast still does not look promising, but for now the weather has been better than predicted for this afternoon.

2:30 UPDATE: Fortunately the rain has stopped and the sun is shining, although it may be temporary. But due to the earlier storms, several field events were pushed back. Here are the new times for Auburn's performers today:

1:30 pm  W-Hammer Qual.           Srsa
4:00 pm  M-Discus Qual.           Clayton, Elkasevic
6:00 pm  W-400m Hurdles Round 1   Anderson, Gilchrist
6:15 pm  M-400m Hurdles Round 1   McCoy
6:30 pm  W-High Jump Qual.        Harris
6:30 pm  M-Hammer Qual.           Martin, Dunkleberger
8:10 pm  W-5000m Semi             Knight
8:50 pm  M-5000m Semi             Kiboiywo

Valentina Srsa just finished her flight of the women's hammer throw. I don't have the official results and there is one more flight to go, but her chances of moving on to the finals are not too promising right now. She was seeded 27th and is only a sophomore so she was not predicted to advance.

12:30 pm: Welcome to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships blog. This space will be used to keep Auburn fans posted on what's happening at the track each day, rather than waiting until late each night for the recap, and will also attempt to provide tidbits and information that wouldn't normally appear in a recap. Updates will be made periodically after Tiger athletes compete.

Unfortunately, the big story of the day in Des Moines, and throughout Iowa, is the severe flooding in the area. There are two rivers that meet near downtown Des Moines , and some parts of the city are already flooded, as some streets and bridges are closed and schools have shut down for the day. There are sandbags lining all of the buildings near the rivers. The Auburn team is staying downtown, but fortunately far enough away from the river that we should be out of danger (at least I hope so as the valet just parked my rental car underground).

And the news gets worse, as it is raining fairly hard right now, and rain is expected to continue today and tomorrow. The rivers are continuing to rise and are expected to exceed the levels they reached in 1993 when most of downtown Des Moines was buried under water. Fortunately, many changes have been made since that 1993 disaster to prevent a reoccurrence of those events, so we're told that even though the rivers will reach higher flood levels, the area will remain safer than it was back then.

Of course the weather also means that certain events may be delayed today. There was lightening in the area earlier, which means an automatic 30-minute delay from the last strike. Auburn's athletes are not scheduled to begin until 1:30, but I'm told that the men's discus may be delayed since it can't start until the javelin, which was to begin at 11 a.m., is completed.

Drake Stadium


The event is being held this year at Drake University, after being held each of the last three years in Sacramento. The facility is much nicer than the one in Sacramento, but unfortunately the weather is not (at least not today). Drake Stadium underwent extensive renovations two years ago and is a great venue for the student-athletes. The stands circle most of the track in a horseshoe design, with only one corner open, and there is very little room between lane 8 and the first row of stands, so the fans are right on top of the action. The blue track is also a unique feature. Although it's not the best photo, I'm including a photo here of part of the track.

Here is the schedule for Auburn's student-athletes today. Again, these could change depending on weather conditions:

Wednesday, June 11
1:30 pm  M-Discus Qual.           Clayton, Elkasevic
1:30 pm  W-Hammer Qual.           Srsa
4:00 pm  W-High Jump Qual.        Harris
4:00 pm  M-Hammer Qual.           Martin, Dunkleberger
6:00 pm  W-400m Hurdles Round 1   Anderson, Gilchrist
6:15 pm  M-400m Hurdles Round 1   McCoy
8:10 pm  W-5000m Semi             Knight
8:50 pm  M-5000m Semi             Kiboiywo

As you may already know, Auburn's men's team has a good shot at a top-five finish, if not better. LSU and Florida State are the two favorites in the men's competition, so Auburn coaches will be paying close attention to how those teams fare in addition to our own athletes. The Auburn women's team has six representatives here, and although they are not expected to score a lot of points, none of them are seniors so they will gain valuable experience for the future, which looks very bright.